Friedrich August Crämer
Friedrich August Crämer (English August Craemer ; born May 26, 1812 in Kleinlangheim , Grand Duchy of Würzburg , † April 3, 1891 in Springfield , Illinois ) was a professor, missionary and Lutheran pastor in Germany, England and the USA. Crämer was politically active during the Vormärz period and left Germany in 1844. He is considered to be the founder of the city of Frankenmuth in the US state of Michigan .
Friedrich August Crämer was born on May 26, 1812 in the market town of Kleinlangheim near Kitzingen , part of the Grand Duchy of Würzburg . Little is known about the family; the parents were strictly Lutheran and passed their faith on to their sons. The younger brother Carl Crämer , who was later to be ennobled but refused, rose to become a mirror manufacturer and was made an honorary citizen of Nuremberg in 1888. The father Johannes Crämer tried particularly to give the children a higher education.
Crämer hired a pastor from a neighboring village for the young Friedrich August. This taught him in Latin , so that Friedrich August could later attend the grammar school in Würzburg . He finished his school career with excellent grades and in 1830 began studying theology and philosophy at the Protestant University of Erlangen . Here Crämer joined the Germania Erlangen fraternity , which fought for the political unity of Germany.
Crämer got involved within the fraternity and organized, for example, the Stuttgart conference of the "Vaterlandsverein". On April 3, 1833, he and others attacked the Konstablerwache in Frankfurt to demonstrate against the ban on fraternities. Friedrich August Crämer was captured and taken to the Fronfeste in Munich. Here he waited three years for his trial. Crämer was finally sentenced to life imprisonment at the Passau fortress Oberhaus . Only through the efforts of the Munich educator Friedrich Thiersch , who provided the bail of 10,000 guilders, Crämer was released again.
In the following years Crämer devoted himself to the study of languages, he learned ancient and modern Greek, old and middle high German , French and English. However, an illness prevented an early scientific career. Crämer was first tutor to the sons of Count Detlev von Einsiedel . In 1843 he left the family and became the teacher of Lord Lovelace's children in Devonshire , England. The Lutheran Crämer soon changed positions again, because the family adhered to Unitarianism .
In 1843 Crämer managed to get a position as a private lecturer for the German language at Oxford University through the mediation of the English MP Sir Henry Drummond . Oxford was then characterized by disputes between the "Tractarians" around John Henry Newman , who wanted to bring the Anglican Church closer to the Roman Catholic denomination. Crämer then changed his profession again in 1844. He met the pastor Wilhelm Löhe , the founder of the Neuendettelsauer Mission . He was looking for missionaries to spread his faith in the United States.
In the USA
Crämer was supposed to lead a group of emigrants from the area around Fürth as pastor. However, he still needed an ordination in order to be able to work as a Lutheran pastor. On April 4, 1845, Crämer was ordained by Theodor Kliefoth in Schwerin Cathedral . On April 20, 1845, the crossing to New York began. On the 51-day trip Crämer met his future wife Dorothea Benthien, the two married after their arrival on June 10, 1845 in St. Martin, New York City . At the behest of Wilhelm Löhe, the emigrants traveled to Michigan via Albany and Buffalo in the following weeks .
On July 10, 1845, Crämer reached Saginaw via Detroit . The emigrants began to clear forests on the Cass River. Finally, the place Frankenmuth was founded here, which was supposed to remind of the abandoned homeland of the founders. On Christmas 1845, the first service was celebrated in a makeshift wooden church in the settlement. After the foundation, Friedrich August Crämer began to evangelize in the area. First Crämer joined the Michigan Synod , in 1847 he founded the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio and other states with some fellow campaigners .
The synod called Crämer to the chair of theology at the spiritual seminary in Fort Wayne . In 1861 Crämer moved to St. Louis . At the same time, Crämer was involved in building up other Christian communities. This is how a community for Irish and German immigrants came into being in Minerstown near Saint Louis. In 1875, the Saint Louis theological seminary was relocated to Springfield, Illinois. Crämer continued to teach in Springfield, with several typhoid epidemics making regular work impossible for a time.
In 1881 several of the adult children and two grandchildren died within two months, probably due to the epidemic. Crämer's wife never got over that shock. She died on November 11, 1884. Crämer still taught at the Springfield seminar. On April 2, 1891, he picked up the theologian Reinhold Pieper at the train station and a few days later gave a speech for his successor. Crämer collapsed during the service . He died on the morning of May 3, 1891, at the age of 78.
Crämer was buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield on May 7th. The coffin was followed by over 300 of his former students, making this procession one of the largest in the United States at the end of the 19th century. The "Craemer-Hall" on the grounds of the theological seminary in Springfield was named after Crämer. Crämer also received a memorial plaque in Frankenmuth. In the USA today, Crämer’s missionary work is in the foreground of the memory of him.
- Robert Neussner: Friedrich August Crämer and Carl von Crämer. Famous sons of the market town of Kleinlangheim . In: Yearbook for the district of Kitzingen. In the spell of the Schwanberg 2010 . Dettelbach 2010. pp. 327-339.
- Matthias Simon: Crämer, Friedrich August † 1891 . In: Alfred Wendehorst (Ed.): CVs from Franconia VI . Neustadt an der Aisch 1960. pp. 76–81.
- German biography: Craemer, Friedrich August
- Robert Neussner: Friedrich August Crämer and Carl von Crämer. Famous sons of the market town of Kleinlangheim . In: Yearbook for the district of Kitzingen. In the spell of the Schwanberg 2010 . Dettelbach 2010. p. 328.
- Robert Neussner: Friedrich August Crämer and Carl von Crämer. Famous sons of the market town of Kleinlangheim . In: Yearbook for the district of Kitzingen. In the spell of the Schwanberg 2010 . Dettelbach 2010. p. 332.
- Robert Neussner: Friedrich August Crämer and Carl von Crämer. Famous sons of the market town of Kleinlangheim . In: Yearbook for the district of Kitzingen. In the spell of the Schwanberg 2010 . Dettelbach 2010. p. 333 f.
|SURNAME||Crämer, Friedrich August|
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Craemer, August|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||German-American theologian and pastor|
|BIRTH DATE||May 26, 1812|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Kleinlangheim|
|DATE OF DEATH||April 3, 1891|
|PLACE OF DEATH||Springfield (Illinois)|